If you’ve lost most or all of your teeth on one or both dental ridges, then dentures can help restore your smile and ability to bite and chew by replacing them. Dentures consist of a row of prosthetic teeth situated on top of a form-fitting plastic base that fits snugly along a patient’s dental ridge. Unfortunately, conventional dentures are limited in what they replace, and can do nothing about the loss of your teeth’s roots, which were once embedded within your jawbone. Implant-supported dentures, however, resolve the problem of missing teeth roots and offer improved stability compared to their traditional counterparts.
A tooth’s root is the lower half of the tooth that extends below the gum line and into the jawbone. Held firmly in their sockets by periodontal ligaments, roots help teeth absorb the pressures of biting and chewing. When stimulated, they help maintain a healthy flow of nutrient-rich blood to the jawbone. Patients who’ve worn conventional dentures for some time know that, after a while, dentures can lose their firm grip, sliding and moving as they eat or speak.
Ill-fitting dentures result from the changing shape of your dental ridge, which continues to shrink as the jawbone deteriorates from the loss of stimulating teeth roots. Dental implants help restore this stimulation to prevent jawbone deterioration, eliminating the cause behind denture slippage. With supportive roots implanted in the jawbone, implant dentures look, feel, and function more like natural, healthy teeth.
The beauty of dental implants is that they’re not just confined to supporting dentures. If you’ve lost one, a few, or several of your teeth, your dentist may recommend implants to support your replacement dental crown, bridge, or partial denture. After a thorough examination, your dentist will advise you if dental implants are the right choice, and whether or not you may be a candidate for All-On-4® dentures, which only require the support of four implant posts.